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Giving Compass' Take:
• The 2017 Global Findex Database reveals that although the percentage of individuals with bank accounts has increased worldwide there is not yet full participation, even among those with an account.
• How can philanthropy help spread access to and understanding of bank accounts to increase global financial inclusivity? What barriers to use exist around the world?
• Find out about four opportunities for inclusive fintech in the United States.
The Global Findex Database has been published every three years since 2011 to provide information about the use and reach of financial services — both formal and informal. Based on more than 150,000 interviews around the world, the 2017 edition was released by the World Bank on April 19 and provides strong evidence of an increasingly inclusive financial world that is transitioning to a digital economy.
In the past three years, since the previous report was published, 515 million more adults have opened some sort of financial services account. According to the new data, 3.8 billion people — or 69 percent of adults — now have access to a bank account or an account through a mobile money provider.
Between 2014 and 2017, this has contributed to a rise in the share of account owners sending or receiving payments digitally. Over those three years, that figure has grown from 67 percent to 76 percent globally, and in the developing world from 57 percent to 70 percent.
The acceleration in mobile phone and internet access has been critical to the growth, and has led to a significant increase in the use of mobile phones and the internet to conduct financial transactions.
Government payments, payments for work, and domestic remittances dominate the payments made and received globally — and the need for access to banking services. While in high-income economies, digital payments dominate how people make and receive payments, 56 percent of payments in developing economies were not digital. Despite this, the numbers are on the rise increasing from 32 percent in 2014 to 44 percent in 2017.
But having access to banking or mobile money accounts does also not automatically translate to financial inclusion; 20 percent of account owners surveyed did not make or receive any payments.
Read the full article about 2017 Global Findex Database by Lisa Cornish at Devex International Development.